This week I spent most of my time and energy polishing our Presentation and migrating our website over to a more flexible CMS. I had originally intended on finishing our characters’ textures and hair tests by now, but the presentation took much longer than I had anticipated so I will be finishing that early next week. There were also quite a few story meetings scheduled for this week (5 total; I went to 3 of them), and participating in them took up a lot of time, too. Thankfully, our direction is now strong and our story makes much more sense.
Task #1: Presentation
- Summary: I cleaned up the presentation based on feedback from our Senior Project class and Nick. The slides now go into greater detail about the major beats of our story, contain animated transitions, and are much cleaner overall.
- Positive Stuff: It looks great! I’m very happy with how our presentation turned out. Here’s to hoping everything goes smoothly on Tuesday!
- Problems / issues: Not so much an issue, but we decided to take out the opening scene of our animatic and instead add a slide better introducing ourselves.
Task #2: Website Migration
- Summary: Frustrated with the aesthetic limitations of wordpress.com blogs, I spent a few hours this week migrating our content over to a wordpress.org site. Before our Tuesday pitch, the site will be finished.
- Positive Stuff: All of our posts transferred without a problem! WordPress.org is the open-source alternative to WordPress.com, and offers a much greater degree of flexibility with themes, plugins, and CSS editing. Now that the site is located on a database in my name, I’ll be able to clean everything up and establish some uniform branding for this project.
- Problems / issues: For the time being, the wordpress.org site is located at valfx.net/mountainsofmadness. As you can see, it doesn’t look so good at the moment – it’s using the default theme, a few of our images broke, and it’s overall very amateur looking. I will be addressing all of these issues before our Tuesday pitch so we have an attractive website to direct the faculty to afterwards.
Task #3: Story Meetings
- Summary: After Gabe and Ethan met with a screenwriting professor to dish out problems with our script, we met several times throughout the week to figure out exactly what we were doing. As a group, we decided to make a few minor character changes to establish a more concrete motivation for Dyer. For example, we changed the character of Lake to be Dyer’s nephew, solving the question of why Dyer and Danforth would risk their lives to go looking for him when he goes missing. Dyer no longer believes that Lake murdered his crew, and his motivation is now to bring him back and find answers.
- Positive Stuff: Our characters and story make much more sense, and thankfully these edits are minor enough that we’ll be able to keep most of our storyboards. A few of our scenes have stayed completely static, too, and since we have completed Layout we will proceed forward with animation while rewriting the scenes that need to be revised.
- Problems / issues: By backtracking like this, we’ve set ourselves back on a few fronts. We will have to bring our voice actors back in to re-record our audio, redo the animatic, and redraw several storyboards. However, script rewrites have always been part of the plan, and our schedule is flexible enough to accomodate these setbacks without too much trouble.
LIST OF UPCOMING TASKS:
- Update website before pitch
- Refine Danforth’s shaders; shade and texture Dyer
- Research Xgen styling techniques; style characters’ hair
- Create composites of X-gen hair renders and bust renders